35th anniversary of World Cup win: Kapil's Devils stay relevant
New Delhi, Jun 25 (PTI) It's seven years now and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's six off Nuwan Kulasekara at the imposing Wankhede Stadium is still etched in the memory of millions. Those who who were present at the stadium and also those who watched it on television.
However, notwithstanding Dhoni's heroics, it's the bunch of upstarts, which upstaged the best cricket team of their generation 35 summers back at the 'Mecca of Cricket', which still remain refreshingly relevant on this day and age.
'Kapil's Devils' had upset all equations during their 43-run win against Clive Lloyd's West Indies at the hallowed Lord's on this very day 35 years back.
Many would agree that Dhoni's winning six is the lasting memory of the 2011 final and everything else is a kind of blur. The classy Mahela Jayawardene century, the gutsy Gautam Gambhir, whose 97 set it up for Dhoni's final flourish.
Blame it on excessive cricket where you just flip from one game to another.
But, cut to the highlights of the 1983 final, shown a zillion times on various sports channels, you seem to remember every flash points of that match.
May be, less amount of memorable footage of that generation of players have played its role but no ardent cricket fan can deny that they don't mind an nth glimpse of that highlights, whenever they get a chance.
Balwinder Singh Sandhu's outswing turned off-cutter, Jeff Dujon getting played on to an Amarnath delivery bowled at Anil Kumble's speed, Amarnath's Bolt like (or in 1983, may be Carl Lewis like) sprint towards pavilion after getting Michael Holding leg before and that catch. Yes, the most significant catch in Indian cricket history till date.
One of India's greatest ever cricketers ran 35 yards to get the most destructive batsman out. Kapil Dev's catch of Vivian Richards is a stuff of legends.
The bowler Madan Lal was being butchered by 'King Richards' and that's fate he would have met with on most days but 'Maddipa', as he is affectionately called, is possibly among the top five honest triers in Indian cricket, who made up for lack of talent with sheer hardwork.
No wonder it had encouraged generations and Virender Sehwag, himself a legend in his own right and a World Cup winner, tweeted a photograph of a smiling Kapil being presented the Prudential Cup.
"This photo will forever remain in the memory of every Indian cricket fan and so will this victory, a victory which changed the face of Indian cricket. 35 years have passed and hope our Indian team repeats this a year from now at the same venue," Sehwag tweeted.
Save Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar, the team didn't have any great talent but had self belief in abundance.
Despite Kapil's iconic 175 not out at Tunbridge Wells or Roger Binny's incisive swing bowling, Indians were always rank outsiders as per betting companies, which meant that punters went home richer. India were 60:1, the odds stacked heavily against them.
Years have passed by but June 25 still holds a special place in the hearts of cricket lovers. In 2008, the BCCI had arranged a special felicitation for the 1983 team and a private company flew them to England where they revisited the day, standing at the Lord's balcony.
Another 10 years have passed and although 35 doesn't hold any special significance, with the passage of time people cling onto memories even more.
Madan Lal, who will be contesting for DDCA president's post, in what promises to be a bitter election, today organised a dinner party to celebrate the anniversary.
While the batch of 1983 were invited, it was expected that without their trips being sponsored, none of the members living outside Delhi would even drop in for the function.
No one knows whether they were sent formal invites at all and it turned out to be an event that was used for election campaign by Madan Lal's backers.
But even after 35 years, the team has stuck by each other.
From Gavaskar, Kapil, Amarnath, Sandeep Patil, Ravi Shastri (who has also wished Rajat Sharma), most of the members of the 1983 batch showed their solidarity for Madan's candidature by posting videos on twitter